Previously I looked at using Query Store to compare execution plans, but it’s not the only way that two execution plans can be compared. The other method requires a saved execution plan and the Management Studio execution plan viewer.
Let’s start by assuming I have a saved execution plan for a query and I want to compare it to the execution plan that the same query currently has. First step is to run the query with actual execution plan on. Right-click on the execution plan and select ‘Compare Showplan’
Pick a saved execution plan. It doesn’t have to be for the same query, but the comparison will be of little use if the two plans being compared are not from the same query.
And then we get the same comparison screen as we saw last time with the comparison via Query Store. Similar portions of the plan are marked by coloured blocks, and the properties window shows which properties differ between the two plans.